If you are missing teeth, or if you need to replace existing teeth that cannot be saved, it can be an embarrassing, painful, and difficult experience. Dental implants by Dr. Levine and the staff at Princeton Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery can give you the confidence of a healthy smile while eliminating pain and making everyday life easier.
A dental implant is simply a replacement for a tooth root or roots. It is fastened to the jawbone and cannot be seen after it is surgically placed. The dental implant, which is made of titanium, secures bridgework, crowns, and dentures to a patient’s jaw. For the most part, if you have lost a tooth or multiple teeth, you are a prime candidate for dental implants. Smokers or people with certain chronic diseases can present challenges, but you can discuss any health issues with Dr. Levine.
Generally an in-office procedure, dental implant surgery begins with the application of a local anesthetic. However, other anesthetic options are available which would be reviewed at your consultation. Usually, the surgery involves a two-step process. The first step of the surgical procedure is to place the implant flush with the jawbone, being sure to go below the gum line. This placement ensures protection while the area is healing. In most cases, a temporary piece called a healing abutment is placed on the implant to allow the gum to heal.
After healing for about 3-6 months, the implant is tested to be sure it has healed and is stable in the bone. This is the second step. You are then ready to return to your dentist for the restoration of the implant. Because each person’s case is different, your dentist will custom make the tooth to fit the implant.
There are many types of traditional implants on the market today, along with 2 non-traditional types. These are the mini and micro-mini implants. As their names suggest, these are generally smaller and thinner than traditional implants. Some of the most popular dental implant restoration types available include single and multi-tooth replacements, fixed and removable bridgework, temporary bridgework, over-dentures, and anchorage for tooth movement.
Dental implants are the trusted choice of dental professionals when it comes to repairing missing teeth. They look, function, and feel the most like teeth, and they do not have the adverse effects that some other options have, such as bone deterioration. Implants are also built to last a lifetime. While they may need to be adjusted, it is unlikely that they would ever need to be replaced.
Call us today for more information on dental implants and to see if they may be right for you.